Jane Got A Gun

Lynne Ramsay

It’s the ill-fated production that just won’t die, no matter how many bullets you put in its head. The Brian Duffield-penned Blacklist screenplay Jane Got a Gun got off to a solid start (perhaps even with a bang?) when lauded director Lynne Ramsay signed on to helm the tale of a Western woman who must turn to her ex-lover to help protect her homestead and husband from a band of baddie thugs (well, horseback thugs) out to kill them. The addition of stars Natalie Portman (who also signed on to produce the project), Michael Fassbender, and Joel Edgerton only made the project sound still more enticing before, well, everything just went to hell in a big, Hollywood-shaped handbasket. And now it’s going to court! But first, let’s begin with a recap of the situation – an extensive enough series of events that we truly hopes spawn some sort of behind the scenes book or oral history or something at some point in time.

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Ewan McGregor

If nothing else, the making of Jane Got a Gun just might make one hell of a documentary one day. The latest news on the plagued Western is that Ewan McGregor is now negotiating to play the essential villain role in the film. Yes, that’s the role that has, at one point or another, been occupied by Joel Edgerton (who is now playing the good guy of the film), Jude Law, and Bradley Cooper, in (very) short order. Hopefully this McGregor casting will stick and the production can get a move on and actually turn into a feature film we can all watch one day, instead of just chronicling it as a cautionary tale in the fickle world of Hollywood. The film is still set to be directed by Gavin O’Connor, with producer Natalie Portman sticking to her guns as the eponymous Jane, a tough farm wife who must defend her home against a band of (hopefully) McGregor-led outlaws intent on killing her criminal husband (Noah Emmerich) who eventually enlists the help of a former lover (Edgerton) to protect her life and livelihood. Yeehaw and such. [Deadline Hollywood]

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Noah Emmerich

With its revolving door of cast members and production drama in the wake of director Lynne Ramsay‘s departure, Jane Got a Gun has scarcely had time to hook a new director, let alone fill the one still-vacant leading role. Now that Warrior director Gavin O’Connor has taken over the film, Jane is finally getting a hubby in O’Connor’s frequent collaborator, Noah Emmerich. Brian Duffield‘s Western script centers on Natalie Portman‘s eponymous Jane, who discovers that her outlaw hubby (Emmerich) is the target of Bradley Cooper‘s baddie gang and then subsequently hires on her own ex-lover (Joel Edgerton) to help her protect her farm from Cooper and his desperado pals. Deadline’s scoop that Emmerich is set to fill the husband role (which, admittedly, I think most of us had forgotten about in the wake of all the Jane drama) doesn’t come as a surprise – Jane will be the fifth film that Emmerich has starred in for O’Connor, as the pair have also worked on such projects as Miracle and Warrior (which also starred Edgerton).

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Bradley Cooper

After the swirling personnel changes hitting Lynne Ramsay’s Gavin O’Connor‘s Jane Got a Gun, it looks like the dust has settled enough to actually make the movie (two weeks into shooting). Jude Law left just as O’Connor was rushed into the director’s seat, and now according to Deadline Hollywood, Bradley Cooper has filled that villainous vacancy. It’s going to be fun imagining all the alternative universe versions of this film (even the ones that were never set up) but it’s difficult to parse a lineage like Michael Fassbender to Jude Law to Bradley Cooper. All three have their own skills, but it’s hard not to miss Fassbender — especially in a Western black hat situation — but Cooper is far better than a warm body, and that’s what the production very well could have expected. Now they have an Oscar nominee to contend with, and it’s great to see this promising flick back on track.

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15-Robert-Redford

What is Casting Couch? It’s a roundup of all the day’s most important casting news. Today we have a bunch of legit reports, and one of those dreaded short-lists. It’s a short-list concerning that much talked about Natalie Portman movie, Jane Got a Gun though, so it’s kind of a pressing matter. It looks like Captain America may be trading in his sidekick Bucky in order to team up with The Sundance Kid. Deadline is reporting that Robert Redford, the patron saint of independent cinema, is making a surprise move and negotiating to join the cast of Marvel’s very commercial superhero sequel, Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If he officially signs, he’ll reportedly be playing a high-ranking member of SHIELD, that government agency run by Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury in all of the Marvel movies. I wonder if he gets his own flying aircraft carrier? If he does, that could be the thing that seals the deal.

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Jane Got a Gun from Malick

The Jane Got a Gun production has been a wild ride. After losing director Lynne Ramsay just before shooting started they pulled in Gavin O’Connor with the quickness, but the Natalie Portman-starring film was in limbo for at least a weekend. So, our old friend Sleepy Skunk put together a mashup of what the movie might look like if Terrence Malick, Wes Anderson or J.J. Abrams replaced Ramsay — but not before the production managed to lose Jude Law, throwing even this video into question. It’s really hard to keep up with this one. Nevertheless, sit back and enjoy playing What If with us, will you?

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Jude Law

The Jane Got a Gun news just does not stop around here. Just a day after original director Lynne Ramsay exited the project in spectacular fashion and mere hours after Warrior helmer Gavin O’Connor stepped in to direct, newly-minted lead Jude Law has now left the film. Deadline Hollywood reveals that Law has “formally withdrawn from the film. It is because he signed on to work with Ramsay, best known for the edgy drama We Need To Talk About Kevin.” Law only recently came on board the project after Michael Fassbender dropped out and Ramsay reportedly reshuffled other leading man Joel Edgerton into a different role to fill the gap. Edgerton will likely stick around, as he has a positive working relationship with O’Connor after their Warrior. Ramsay has still not commented on the situation.

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Gavin O

Yesterday, Lynne Ramsay made what’s most likely a massive career error by quitting Jane Got a Gun in spectacular fashion. By not showing up for work on the first day of filming, she either did the only thing she could do to take care of a personal crisis or she pulled a dick move by threatening a production and the jobs of several hundred people. Details are unclear at this point, but according to Deadline Hollywood, producer Scott Steindorff has pulled a director out of a hat to take Ramsay’s place. That filmmaker is Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, Miracle), and he’s an excellent choice for the wild west story that sees a young woman (Natalie Portman) turn to an ex to protect her husband from a gang ready to kill him. O’Connor has proven several times that he can make great adult fiction without alienating or making the tone too niche to enjoy. Not only is it surprising that the production found an available replacement so quickly, it’s downright astonishing that they found one who’se so well-suited to the material. O’Connor was working on prep for the TV series Cinnamon Girl from writer/creator Renee Zellweger, but otherwise his film focus was free beyond projects at the script level. However, there’s a chance that this sudden new employment will affect his attachment to Yakuza and The Samurai – two films that are hopefully self-descriptive. We also now get to wonder how their takes would have been different and play that What If game throughout production.

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Lynne Ramsay

As pre-production chatter for the Brian Duffield-penned Black Listed Western Jane Got a Gun has been nothing but positive (especially when it comes to the film’s very talented cast), today’s news that director Lynne Ramsay has exited the project in spectacular fashion is nothing short of genuinely shocking and quite confusing. Deadline Hollywood reports (via The Playlist) that the film’s cast and crew (including stars Natalie Portman, Joel Edgerton, Jude Law, and Rodrigo Santoro) showed up on Monday (the project’s official first day of production) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, only to find that Ramsay “was a no-show and had abruptly dropped out of the film.” Producer Scott Steindorff “confirmed the crisis” and weighed in to Deadline in a passionate plea, saying, “I have millions of dollars invested, we’re ready to shoot, we have a great script, crew and cast…I’m shocked and so disappointed someone would do this to 150 crew members who devoted so much time, energy, commitment and loyalty to a project, and then have the director not show up. It is insane somebody would do this to other people. I feel more for the crew and their families, but we are keeping the show going on, directors are flying in, and a replacement is imminent.”

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Michael Shannon

What is Casting Couch? It’s the roundup of casting news that knows what Gillian Jacobs is going to be doing with her upcoming break from Community. All that time in the bushes finally paid off. Most people probably thought Wild Things director John McNaughton’s career hit its zenith when he directed Wild Things. That movie was basically the most ’90s thing ever, and it practically introduced the concept of the three-way to the square community through the communicative power of Denise Richards’ boobs. He may yet top that work though, because Deadline reports that he’s just recruited the best actor in the world, Michael Shannon, to star in his upcoming thriller The Harvest. The film will star Samantha Morton as a successful heart surgeon and Shannon as her co-dependent husband. Its conflict comes in when their sick son meets a new friend, and suddenly the very controlled routine that Morton’s character has created starts to break down. Sounds like a creepy mom.

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Jane Got a Gun has been an attractive package from the very beginning, seeing as it pairs a Black List script with a talented director in Lynne Ramsay (We Need to Talk About Kevin) and a huge movie star lead in Natalie Portman (Mars Attacks). But now, as the production inches closer to a start date, it’s going to have to start filling out the rest of its cast, and a report from Vulture says that Ramsay and crew are looking to get that process started off with a bang. The story of the film is said to follow a woman (Portman) whose husband comes home one day riddled with bullet wounds and barely breathing. It turns out that her low-down dog of a hubby has gone and got himself involved with some criminal Confederates, and now they’re hot on his heels and looking to finish the job they already started. Seeing as said man is seemingly on his death bed, it falls on said woman to reach out to an ex-lover and ask him to help her defend her farm, a proposition that sounds ripe with dramatic stickiness.

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Natalie Portman to Star in Jane Got a Gun

Looks like Natalie Portman is coming back to Hollywood in a big, big way. THR reports that the actress will star in and produce Lynne Ramsay‘s first post-We Need to Talk About Kevin project, an intriguing Western that comes complete with a Black List script. Brian Duffield penned the film, Jane Got a Gun, which ended up on last year’s Black List of best unproduced screenplays (that list included scripts like Graham Moore’s The Imitation Game, Andrew Baldwin’s The Outsider, and John Scott’s Maggie also popped up on the list). The film is focused on “a woman whose outlaw husband returns home barely alive and riddled with bullet wounds. She is forced to reach out to an ex-lover and ask if he will help defend her farm when her husband’s gang eventually tracks him down to finish the job.” The film has reportedly spark a bit of a bidding war in Cannes. While Portman took some time off from acting after her Oscar win for Black Swan and the birth of her first child, she appears to be jumping right back in with a number of bold, meaty choices. She also has two Terrence Malick films lined up and, though she did not end up with the role, she was the Wachowskis’s first pick for their Jupiter Ascending. But can Portman go rough and tumble? Can she ever:

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+
published: 12.15.2014
B


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